Asoka Halwa is South-Indian Style Moong Dal Halwa from from the Tanjavur (Tanjore) district of Tamil Nadu. Locally, it is also known as Thiruvaiyaru Halwa after the city where it originated.
Making Asoka Halwa is similar to making the North Indian Moong Dal Halwa except that it uses a bit of wheat flour to hasten the cooking process and a lot less ghee. Also, many a time, yu will find it bright orange in colour because of food colour (I did not use any).
In terms of taste and texture, the Thiruvaiyaru Halwa is far more dense but similar in taste to the Moong Dal Halwa.
Do try it this Diwali and decide for yourself.
How to Make Asoka Halwa | Thiruvaiyaru Halwa | South-Indian Moong Dal Halwa
Time: 1 Hour
Makes: 2 Cups
Serves: 6 to 8
- Moong Dal – 1/2 cup
- Sugar – 1.25 cups
- Ghee – 8 tbsp
- Wheat flour – 2 tbsp
- Green Cardamom – 6
- Orange/Red Food Colour – A Few Drops (Optional)
- Cashew – 10 to 12
- Getting the Moong Dal Ready
- Over a medium flame, dry roast the moong dal till it is light golden colour.
- Soak the moong dal in in 1.25 cups water for about 15 minutes.
- Pressure cook the moong dal for about 4 whistles till it is of mashable consistency.
- Let it cool a bit.
- Roasting the Cashews and Wheat Flour
- Over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp ghee.
- Add split cashews and fry till light golden.
- Remove the cashews.
- Lower the flame.
- To the same ghee, add the wheat flour.
- Stir-fry till it starts to change colour and becomes aromatic.
- Remove into a plate to cool.
- If the moong dal has a lot of residual water, drain it.
- Peel the green cardamom.
- Grind together the sugar and green cardamom seeds to a fine powder.
- To the sugar, add the moong dal and grind together to a smooth paste. Because of the water in the sugar, it will become a bit liquidy.
- In a non-stick pan, heat about 3 tbsp ghee.
- Add the moong dal paste and saute while stirring constantly.
- When the paste starts to change colour and become translucent, add 2 tbsp ghee.
- Mix well.
- Add the fried cashews and wheat flour.
- Cook while stirring constantly. The Asoka Halwa will now thicken very quickly.
- Continue to cook till the Asoka Halwa starts to leave the sides of the pan.
- Add the remaining ghee and mix well.
- Turn off the heat.
- Serve the Asoka Halwa warm.